Cinema catharsis

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Vermont Youth Orchestra Association

If you read the brief letter from Troy Peters, you might react in a way that would show your appreciation for Peters by plunging into despair at the obvious: there will be change temporarily, but not loss permanently.

You would be wrong to despair, because if Peters didn't do anything else for music in Vermont, he has created a whole new entity from an existing organization by breathing life into it and that is a fitting monument to 14 years of hard work on the part of Peters, Caroline Whidden and the board.

Peters not only contributed to the VYOA, he contributed to the whole music community, most recently taking up the task of building an orchestra at Middlebury College.

Peters convinced me of his musical and educational gifts towards the beginning of his tenure, when he led the orchestra in a concert that included the Berlioz 'Symphonie Fantastique' and a Prokofiev concerto. I watched the way he marked rhythmic drive and was a model of conductorial exactitude, while at the same time he demanded from the players that they be independent, making them co-creators with him of some very difficult music. He made very few concessions when co-creating music. In the Berlioz, the only concession that I remember was a slight relaxation of the metronome markings.

As with the half-light that occurs that precedes the dawn, the orchestra is going to experience their own half-light, and then wake up to a new day, and as the colors begin to hint at the future, I would remind all those young people who have prospered under the aegis of Troy Peters that they are his co-creators and that should give them solace and a willingness to face the new day that will dawn with the selection of another co-creator who will open up new territories for our young musicians here in Vermont.

To Troy I offer my profound thanks for all he has done for music in Vermont. I offer part of Catullus' ode to his brother: Atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale -Forever, brother, hail and farewell.

Burlington resident Dan Wolfe observes and critiques the local arts scene for The Eagle. His column appears weekly.

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